2018 Traverse New Car Test Drive
The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse, a full-size crossover, is fully redesigned.
With fresh SUV styling, the 2018 Traverse features a new chassis and a new powertrain with 3.6-liter V6 engine making 310 horsepower.
The engine has all the right stuff: double overhead cams, aluminum block and head, variable valve timing, direct high-pressure fuel injection. Even with 20 more horsepower than the old V6, the new 3.6-liter gets better fuel mileage: 21 Combined miles per gallon with front-wheel drive, versus the previous 18 mpg EPA ratings.
The new chassis adds 2.0 inches to the wheelbase but only 0.7 inch to the length, while dropping 111 pounds overall to tip the scale at 4362 pounds. Chevrolet claims class-leading passenger space for eight people (seven with captain's chairs), class-leading legroom in the third row, and class-leading cargo volume.
Two new models are added for 2018, Traverse RS, with a new turbocharged 2.0-liter I4 engine, and the luxurious Traverse High Country. Both the I4 and V6 engines use a smooth 9-speed automatic transmission, but only the V6 gets all-wheel drive.
Rivals among full-size crossovers include Ford Explorer, Dodge Durango, Mazda CX-9, Honda Pilot, and Nissan Pathfinder.
The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse is available in seven models and trims: L, LS, LT Cloth, LT Leather, RS, Premier, and High Country. The stripped L model ($30,925) is mostly for fleet use. The 3.6-liter V6 and 9-speed automatic transmission are standard.
Traverse LS ($33,045) is equipped with premium cloth, three-zone climate control, six USB ports, HID headlights with LED running lights, rearview camera, keyless ignition, 18-inch wheels, 7.0-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, and infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Traverse LT Cloth ($35,545) gets different 18-inch wheels, SiriusXM satellite radio, and power driver/passenger seats. A ($1,795) Convenience and Driver Confidence Package adds remote start, a larger 8.0-inch infotainment screen, heated front seats, blind-spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alert, and a power liftgate.
Traverse LT Leather ($42,145) includes leather-appointed seats on the first and second rows, 20-inch alloy wheels, surround-view camera system, a 10-speaker Bose stereo, a larger display in the instrument cluster, and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror with Chevy's trick Rear Camera Mirror. The LT Leather also includes the Convenience and Driver Confidence Package as standard, and adds a navigation function for the 8.0-inch infotainment system.
Traverse Premier ($45,445) adds LED headlights, 20-inch wheels, a memory function for the driver's seat, a heated steering wheel, vented front seats, and a heated second row. The ($475) Driver Confidence II Package adds active safety systems, including lane departure warnings with active lane control, forward collision warnings with low-speed automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, active front lights. A ($2,495) Redline Edition Package adds a range of sporty, blacked-out options, as well as a panoramic sunroof.
Traverse High Country ($53,045) adds a standard twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system, a panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, front pedestrian braking, high-speed automatic emergency braking, and upgraded interior materials.
All-wheel drive is a ($2,000) option on LS, LT Cloth, LT Leather, and Premier.
All versions of the 2018 Traverse come standard with GM's latest OnStar technologies. While 4G LTE wifi connectivity gets a lot of attention, Chevrolet's Teen Driver and Family Link programs will give parents peace of mind. The former delivers reports on a young driver's on-the-road behavior, while the latter allows parents to set boundaries on things like speed and the volume of the audio system. It also allows parents to set a maximum driving range. The system can also send text and email alerts.